The Hot-Mess Mom’s Guide to Sustainability


A mom with a pen in her mouth and her hands full.New year, new you? New habits? Lifestyle changes? This guide is for hot-mess moms, so let us not get carried away. Here are some simple ways to integrate more sustainable living into your day-to-day life. 


One of the easiest ways to live more sustainably is in what we wear. You can be fashionable without buying anything new at all. Best of all, it will usually save you money too. Here are my top hot-mess mom (read: easy and funky) sustainable clothing sources.

1. Thrift stores. These aren’t the old-school Goodwill-type places. There is a thrift market or store for every style and occasion. My personal favorites are Witch Bitch Thrift (Bridgeport, gender and size-inclusive), Pickles Thrift Store (Bridgeport, size-inclusive and my 1980s Diana Spencer wardrobe fantasy), and Monger’s Market (Bridgeport, takes some time to sift through, but lots of treasures). 

2. “Buy Nothing” Facebook groups. It’s free, you guys. It’s literally free. 

3. Poshmark. This is my go-to for brand-name clothes for myself and my kids. There is no way on this earth I am paying full price for Vineyard Vines for my two-year-old, who will immediately destroy everything. On Poshmark? $15. Done. 

Beauty & Lifestyle

This being the hot-mess mom’s guide, there is not an expensive or elaborate beauty routine. I am going to keep it real with my sustainable recommendation.

Literally, just go to Lush

Package free, sustainable ingredients, and it smells like heaven. Pictured above is my shower routine, including bar shampoo (lathers like regular shampoo), face wash, and body wash. Package-free is preferable to plastic-free because some non-plastic packaging alternatives use more resources to make. 

Let’s also talk about sustainable periods. More than 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out every year. Do I recommend making your own pads and carefully laundering them? Absolutely not. Who has time for that? (I’m looking at you, cloth diaper moms. I commend you, but I do not understand you).

I highly recommend Thinx period underwear. You buy based on flow and absorbency, and you wear and wash them just like regular underwear. Game changer! 

Sustainability also encompasses the food we eat and the way we eat. Eating less meat significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. My hot-mess mom recommendation: Trader Joe’s (not sponsored but please sponsor me Trader Joe’s, I love you). You can meal plan a week of vegetarian or vegan meals ready in 15 minutes. Also, you have to work to spend more than $100 there. Eco-friendly and wallet-friendly? Yes please!


I got nothing. Hand-me-downs for sure, but kid stuff just doesn’t lend itself to sustainability: diapers, wipes, and the endless granola bar wrappers. I pick my battles, and the single-use and disposable kid-stuff war is not one I will fight. 

Could I get a bento box lunch set and re-usable baggies? Sure. But this is the hot-mess mom’s guide, after all. We’ll settle for leftover Tupperware and my co-worker’s hand-me-down snow boots. 

So there you have it. The hot-mess mom’s guide to sustainable-ish living. This is by no means comprehensive, but it is an easy place to start making small changes in your day-to-day life. In this new year, I challenge all my fellow hot-mess moms to integrate one of the tips above to make a positive change. 

What other sustainable living tips do you have? 


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